Enterprises in UAE Adopting Hybrid Cloud Models: Nutanix Survey

Nutanix has announced the UAE-specific findings of its annual Enterprise Cloud Index. The latest (2019) Index shows that the majority of enterprises in the United Arab Emirates (97%) agree that the hybrid cloud model, which will ultimately afford dynamic choice about where to run each workload, is the ideal IT environment going forward and that it is also viewed as the most secure option.

UAE, though, has one of the lowest percentages of hybrid cloud usage today, and its projections of hybrid cloud growth 24 months out lag EMEA and global expectations. UAE respondents, however, report plans to catch up with the rest of the world within three to five years, when they project hybrid cloud penetration of 51%—well in line with what companies in other countries expect to be running at that time.

Perhaps as an interim step to hybrid cloud, UAE companies currently deploy far more workloads and applications on private cloud than any other platform and do so more than most other countries. UAE has one of today’s lowest penetrations of traditional data centers (40%) in the world. This may actually be a positive since companies in the region will have less far to go in decommissioning data center’s in favour of more attractive IT models such as hybrid cloud.

The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index is based on research conducted by Vanson Bourne to learn about the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans. The research surveyed 2,650 IT decision-makers in 24 countries around the world, exploring where organizations currently run their business applications and where they plan to run them in the future. It also questioned respondents on their cloud challenges and where their cloud initiatives sit against other IT projects and priorities.

Key findings from the report include:

UAE companies are fully participating in the trend to repatriate public cloud workloads. Like many organizations, UAE companies have initiatives underway to move applications out of the public cloud and onto premises infrastructure. Far more UAE companies (92%) are repatriating applications than elsewhere in the world where the global average is 73%.

Many of UAE’s repatriated apps appear headed for private clouds instead of traditional data centers. UAE companies reported one of the lowest current uses of data centers (40%), coming in significantly below the EMEA (54%) and global (53%) averages. By sharp contrast, UAE was third highest in reported usage of private cloud (45%), trailing only Japan (60%) and Saudi Arabia (47%). While the UAE expects its use of private cloud to decline over the next five years, its use will decline more slowly than elsewhere and will remain moderately higher (22%) in three to five years than the EMEA regional (16%) and global (16%) averages.

There’s a significant disconnect between what UAE companies deem the ideal IT infrastructure and what they’re deploying today. UAE IT professionals were almost unanimous in agreement (97%) that hybrid cloud represents the ideal IT operating model, topped only by China (99%). Still, UAE respondents reported one of the lowest penetrations of hybrid clouds in EMEA today (7%), significantly behind the EMEA (12%) and global (13%) averages.

UAE companies plan to adopt a hybrid cloud model more slowly than other countries. However, they expect to arrive at a 51% penetration in three to five years, which generally aligns with averages for EMEA and across the world.

Lack of internal IT skills and retaining qualified IT staff are top concerns for UAE companies. UAE respondents agreed that they lack the internal IT skills required to meet business demands 60% of the time, and 61% agreed that they had difficulty retaining IT talent. Both percentages were higher than the EMEA and global averages.

Aaron White, Regional Sales Director – the Middle East at Nutanix said, “It is clear that hybrid cloud is the future. Hybrid cloud capabilities constitute a growing necessity in the dynamic, digital business climate, in which enterprises demand the freedom to dynamically provision and manage applications based on business needs. Reaching this ideal IT operating model will require more comprehensive hybrid vendor solutions, as well as greater expertise in designing, building, and operating hybrid clouds.”

As organizations continue to grapple with complex digital transformation initiatives, flexibility and security are critical components to enable seamless and reliable cloud adoption,” said Wendy M. Pfeiffer, CIO of Nutanix. “The enterprise has progressed in its understanding and adoption of hybrid cloud, but there is still work to do when it comes to reaping all of its benefits. In the next few years, we’ll see businesses rethinking how to best utilize the hybrid cloud, including hiring for hybrid computing skills and reskilling IT teams to keep up with emerging technologies.”

Cloud computing has become an integral part of business strategy, but it has introduced several challenges along with it,” said Ashish Nadkarni, Group Vice President of Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies at the IDC. “These include security and application performance concerns and high cost. As the 2019 Enterprise Cloud Index report demonstrates, hybrid cloud will continue to be the best option for enterprises, enabling them to securely meet modernization and agility requirements for workloads.”

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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